The Judicial Panel of Inquiry investigating police brutality in Anambra State has summoned James Nwafor, a retired police officer and former head of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Awkuzu area of the state.
This newspaper had earlier reported how Nwafor was named as a major culprit in majority of the petitions submitted to the panel which were reviewed by this medium.
According to official records, Nwafor was appointed the commander of the Awkuzu SARS in 2012, an office he occupied till January 2016 when he was transferred to Bauchi State.
However, in September 2016, Nwafor was again transferred back to his Awkuzu office, where he was until 2018 when he retired from the Nigeria police.
While in office, several cases of human rights violations and extra-judicial killings were reported but nothing was done by the police authorities. In fact, a report by Amnesty International, a global rights organisation, also indicted him.
In the heat of the EndSARS protest, which rocked the nation in October, the retired police cop was relieved of his appointment as a senior special assistant on security to the incumbent governor of Anambra, Willie Obiano.
Obiano sacked him after his name was repeatedly mentioned by protesters.
He has now been summoned by the panel and is expected to appear before it on December 8 to respond to allegations against him, newsmen learnt.
This was also confirmed by Abdul Mahmud, a legal practitioner present at the sitting.
Also summoned alongside Nwafor are Abbatunume Joe, Hyianceth Nwankwo and the Chief Medical Director of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, the lawyer disclosed.
“The orders of the JPI were issued sequel to the oral applications (pursuant to S.9 Commission of Inquiry Law Anambra State 1991 & Rules 3, 4 & 7 of the JPI Rules 2020) by Abdul Mahmud Esq, counsel for the Iloanya, Adimachukwu, Onyemelue & Akabike families – petitioners.”
“The Commissioner of Police Anambra State is thus mandated to ensure compliance with the orders of Her Lordship, Hon. Justice VN Umeh, Chairman of the Anambra State Judicial Panel of Inquiry,” Mahmud wrote on Thursday.